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Suppose I see someone coming whose gender is unknown; how should I ask who the approaching person is? Should I say “Who is he?”

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"Who is that?" is a neutral option. –  coleopterist Feb 22 '13 at 5:58
    
If it’s somebody you aren’t quite sure of, you could always wait till they got there and ask them yourself. :) –  tchrist Feb 22 '13 at 7:30
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Preferably, no. This is a case in which "Who is that?" is entirely acceptable, because the use of "that" reflects the uncertainty of the question itself. "He" is too specific; it offers a part of the answer you are seeking.

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Maybe not. I am not a native English-speaker, but I would say, “Who is that person?” instead of he. He is supposed to be a “guy”.

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